SACRAMENTO -- California's Legislature passed a bill that would increase the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour.
The state Senate approved AB10 on a 26-11 vote and the Assembly followed with a 51-25 vote.
Governor Jerry Brown said earlier this week that he would sign the bill, saying it is an overdue piece of legislation that would help working-class families.
Washington state has the top minimum wage at $9.19 an hour, currently, an amount that will most likely increase with inflation. Some cities, including San Francisco, have slightly higher minimum wages.
The bill would gradually raise California's minimum wage from the current $8 an hour to $10 by 2016.
It would be the first increase in the state's minimum wage in six years.
Speaker John Perez says lawmakers recognized the importance of getting low wage earners a boost to the minimum wage.
"It is probably one of the bills that people were most excited about because people understood the clear difference it would make in the lives of millions of Californians who really struggled through the hardest part of the Great Recession," Perez said.
Perez says raising the minimum wage addresses the call President Obama made in the State of the Union to see a federal minimum wage raised to nine dollars an hour.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.